The prosecutor who made the decision to drop the charges against Jussie Smollett believes the actor is actually guilty.
First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Joseph Magats revealed to CBS News on Tuesday (26 March) that he believes Smollett is guilty of filing a false report and making up a hate crime against him. He also revealed why he then decided to drop those charges.
‘I do not believe he is innocent,’ Magats said simply.
Dropping the charges came down to Smollett’s alleged crime being a non-violent one.
‘Our priority is violent crimes and the drivers of violence. Jussie Smollett is neither one of those,’ he explained.
He also said it’s ‘common practice’ for non-violent crimes to receive a punishment of community service and a financial penalty. Smollett both performed community service and also forfeited his bail bond to the city of Chicago.
A sudden decision to drop criminal charges against actor Jussie Smollett in Chicago is bringing angry reactions and raising major legal questions. The city's mayor calls it a "whitewash of justice."@adrianasdiaz reports: pic.twitter.com/VgqwZb7us9
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 27, 2019
Despite dropping the charges, Magats added this does not ‘vindicate’ nor ‘exonerate’ the openly gay actor.
People are unsatisifed with this conclusion
In January, Smollett reported a crime to Chicago police. He said two white men who wore MAGA hats attacked him. In his description of the alleged attack, he said the men put a noose around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him.
Smollett continues to maintain his innocence, but Chicago officials are unhappy with Magats’ decision to drop the charges.
‘Do I think justice was served? No,’ said Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson. ‘What do I think justice is? I think this city is still owed an apology.
‘At the end of the day, it is Mr. Smollett who committed this hoax, period. If he wanted to clear his name, the way to do that is in a court of law so everyone can see the evidence.’
Johnson has previously said there is ‘a lot more’ evidence in the case.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, meanwhile, angrily called this development a ‘whitewash of justice’.
Smollett’s case remains sealed.